Hong Kong time is:

Monday, September 26, 2005


What about Typhoons

It is interesting to me that the media is so focused on the Hurricanes in the US while substantial Typhoons are hitting Asia.
"Chinese officials have described it as the worst typhoon to strike the province in decades, with winds comparable to Hurricane Rita."
We have gotten over 10" of rain in Hong Kong and gale force wind over the weekend; over 100,000 people have evacuated coastal areas of Vietnam; 170,000 people moved to safety on Hainan island; etc. But I have seen very little coverage. I can understand why the US media is focused on the hurricanes, but come on Asia and Europe media, pick up the ball. I think they so many of these media outlets just get their news from "the wire" and don't do any or much of their own reporting anymore.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Horse Fight

I don't post these because I condone or condem the activity. Different cultures support different activitis. While I don't approve of, nor would I attend this event, I do find it interesting that such an event exists in a modern society. The differences in cultures is always interesting to me.
Reuters - Tue Sep 20, 7:12 AM ET
Chinese residents watch two horses fight in Rongshui Miao Autonomous county, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, September 19, 2005. The horse fight is part of activities for the Miao people in Rongshui to celebrate their mid-Autumn festival. Picture taken September 19, 2005. CHINA OUT REUTERS/China Newsphoto

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Want an Elephant? You can buy one...

BANGKOK, Thailand article - They don't have to be housebroken because these pets won't fit in your home.

But not just anyone can own an elephant, says Laithongrian Meephan, 47, owner of the Ayutthaya Elephant Farm, 45 miles north of Bangkok, who is selling about 20 elephants between the ages of 1 1/2 to 3 years.

Prices start at $48,700 apiece for the beasts, which he promises are well-bred, well-trained, well-behaved and a source of luck.

But there are conditions attached. Only animal-loving Thai nationals boasting bank accounts of at least $243,300 can buy the pachyderms, and potential owners must have sufficient space for the beasts to exercise and mud holes where they can cool off.

Owners also will be tested on their elephant know-how three months after their purchase to ensure their seriousness, Laithongrian said. Flunk the test and the farm will buy the animal back from you.

"It is not easy to raise elephants," he says. "According to an old saying, only those who have great prestige and merit can raise them."

Laithongrian says that "post-sale service" will be provided, including the provision of a mahout — a traditional elephant trainer — and victuals to a pachyderm's taste.

The elephant is the de facto national animal of Thailand, and once graced the nation's flag. But with massive deforestation in recent decades, its numbers have decreased.

The sale of wild elephants is forbidden by law, but the Ayutthaya ones on sale are domesticated, the offspring of an "elephant wedding" held several years ago, said Laithongrian. He didn't explain why they were for sale.

There are about 140 elephants, including 40 calves, at the Ayutthaya Elephant Farm, where the elephants put on shows and give rides to tourists.


Adds and Articles volume 1

I love when I see an article that has a particularly inappropriate (or in this case appropriate) advertisement that turns up next to it. This is by far not the funniest I have seen, and I am always on the lookout...

Is it coincidence that both these pictures are of people that would benefit from the product being advertised? Perhaps web advertisements are getting smarter then we realize.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Bathroom Break

I can completely understand the need for President Bush to go to the bathroom - he is only human. However, if this is truly a note that he is writing and not responding too, it is a bit embarrassing. I suppose he shouldn't just get up to leave, but I guess we don't think of the president havening to ask permission often...
As reported on Yahoo...
U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's vision of freedom from want, persecution and war. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Link to Reference

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Skin of Executed Used for "Beauty"

An article today reports that, "Skin from prisoners executed in China is being used to develop cosmetic collagen treatments aimed at the European market". I am not a big fan of plastic surgery and other beauty enhancing procedures. So, as you can imagine I kind of got a kick out of this news. I also find it VERY disturbing. How gross is that? Also, how safe can that really be?


How do we stop Jackson?

Do you think if we pay Michael Jackson NOT to make this song? If we all donate $5 will it just go away? Does the world really want to listen to this song play over and over again? A song that is going to be a bunch of has been artists. The other funny thing is how many of these artists have criminal records.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson has recruited pop superstar Mariah Carey, rappers Snoop Dogg and Jay Z, "Godfather of Soul" James Brown and other top artists to perform on a charity single for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, his spokeswoman said on Monday.

Also joining Jackson will be retro-rocker Lenny Kravitz; rappers Wyclef Jean, Laryn Hill and Missy Elliott; R&B crooners Ciara, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Yolanda Adams, R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige; and 1970s soul icons the O'Jays, spokeswoman Raymone Bain said.

"Mr. Jackson is continuing to reach out to artists who would like to work with him on this project, which he humbly hopes will make a tremendous difference to all individuals who have been affected by this tragedy, Bain said.

Jackson, who raised more than $60 million for African famine relief in the mid-1980s with a campaign built around his anthem "We Are the World," announced last week that he had been moved by images of Katrina's devastation to write a song for the hurricane's victims.

Bain has said that the 47-year-old singer, who left his Neverland Valley Ranch in California for Bahrain after his June acquittal on sex abuse charges, will return to the United States to record the song, tentatively titled "From the Bottom of My Heart."

All proceeds will be donated to hurricane victims, she said.


Those Aussies sure do love their footy!

I know several Australians, and they do love their football. Especially the Australian Rules football. I have been meaning to learn more about the game, but I understand it to be very athletic and fairly violent. But, for those of you who don't know (and any Australians are sure to yell at me) think of it as American football without pads. If you want more information, go to the the AFL site. So, these guys are tough. But to choose to amputate your finger...The AP reported...

SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian professional football player said Tuesday he plans to have one of his fingers amputated in an attempt to improve his game.

Brett Backwell, who plays Australian rules football for Glenelg, a suburb of the city of Adelaide in South Australia state, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. he has suffered from pain and restricted movement since he broke his left ring finger three years ago.

Doctors had suggested fusing the bones in the finger, but Backwell rejected the proposal.

He said he believed that amputating the finger was the only way to stop the pain and allow him to keep playing.

"To chop a finger off, that's a bit drastic," Backwell told the ABC. "But I love my footy (football), and love playing sport, and if that's going to help me to succeed at this level then it's something you've just got to do."

Monday, September 12, 2005


Asia Culanary: Chinese Eatery Sold Donkey in Tiger Urine

I have found that from time to time I find (or experience first hand) some Asian culinary ideas that we in the west often just can imagine. So, welcome to installment one of Asia Culinary.

In this case, I do not feel sorry for the patrons who were participating in an illegal activity anyway - kind of got what they deserved...but GROSS!!!

Sep 8, 6:58 PM (ET)

SHANGHAI, China (AP) - A restaurant in northeastern China that advertised illegal tiger meat dishes was found instead to be selling donkey flesh - marinated in tiger urine, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The Hufulou restaurant, located beside the Heidaohezi tiger reserve near the city of Hailin, had advertised stir-fried tiger meat with chilies for $98as well as liquor flavored with tiger bone for $74 a bottle, the China Daily reported.

Raw meat was priced at $864 per kilogram.

The sale of tiger parts is illegal in China and officers shut down the restaurant, only to be told by owner, Ma Shikun, that the meat was actually that of donkeys, flavored with tiger urine to give the dish a "special" tang, the newspaper said.

The report didn't say how the urine was obtained.

Authorities confiscated the restaurant's profits and fined Ma $296 it said. It wasn't clear what Ma was fined for. Selling donkey meat is not illegal in China and it is widely consumed in the northeast.

Ma had initially claimed that the meat came from dead tigers sold to him by the management of the Heidaohezi reserve, but later changed his story, the report said.

While Heidaohezi's director denied that claim, the reserve, with about 150 tigers, has been involved in similar controversies in the past.

Until China outlawed the trade in 1993, the reserve received most of its revenue from the sale of tiger skins, bones and other body parts, which are believed by Chinese to imbue vigor and sexual prowess.

Link to Reference


Worst Disaster Ever?

Whoops, gotta love those short story intros at the bottom of the screen!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I LOVE to dive, but not this much!

My wife and I spend a lot of time underwater, but this is more then I could tolerate by far. After 60 minutes of scuba diving we are usually cold and ready to dry out and decompress for an hour or so before the next dive. However, the thing I really can't imagine is how bad they are going to smell. The ocean in not a clean place and soaking in it (and probably a dirty weat suit if you know what I mean) for 10 days - stinky. But all in the interest of science (and some fame), so good for them...

Scuba Divers Begin Living Under Water

Sep 8, 7:02 PM (ET)
PONZA, Italy (AP) - There are beds, exercise machines, table and chairs and even a television in the new home of two Italians trying to break a record. The catch: the furniture is anchored to the sea floor and to live there the duo must don wet suits and masks.

The divers, Stefano Barbaresi, 37, and Stefania Mensa, 29, on Thursday completed the first of 10 days living 26 feet under water off the island of Ponza, off the coast between Rome and Naples.

The duo is trying to break a world record by spending 240 hours there as part of a project that also will allow scientists to study the effect that living under water for so long has on the human body.

"It's a unique opportunity to understand the limits of mankind under the sea," project organizer Pierfranco Bozzi was quoted as saying by Milan daily Corriere della Sera.

However, about every five to six hours the divers will be able to access a dry chamber under water where they will be able to change, go to the bathroom and be examined by researchers including from several Italian hospitals and Rome's Sapienza University.

Among other things, scientists will monitor the divers' heart rates and ear drums, Corriere reported.

(AP) In this photo made availabe Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005 by Progetto Abissi 2005, scuba diver Stefano...

Link to Reference

Thursday, September 08, 2005


New Orleans & Religious Extremism

Didn’t take long for the religious right to blame the affected citizens for the disastrous hurricane. For example, Repent America said…

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence’, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same," he continued.

New Orleans is also known for its Mardi Gras parties where thousands of drunken men revel in the streets to exchange plastic jewelry for drunken women to expose their breasts. This annual event sparked the creation of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series.

"Let us pray for and help those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long," Marcavage said. "May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God," Marcavage concluded.

Come on, like there isn’t more sin in other cities and the world in general. God couldn’t find others to pick on - he chose New Orleans?

However, on the other hand, there are those that say they stayed – or are staying – in their homes because "God will protect us". Again, have some responsibility for your actions. God gave us free will. That means we are free to make choices (stupid ones included). Staying home when there was a mandatory evacuation because “God will protect you” is a stupid choice. In fact, other Christians (e.g. those mentioned above) think he is doing this to you.

Of course these are the same people that refuse medical treatment for their children because it is "God's will" that their child be sick, even if the child will die unless given simple treatments. Again, you have free will, which means God is not intervening in every aspect of your life. He gave you a child, and wants you to care for it...so do. He allowed the invention of TV and radio that is telling you to leave - LEAVE!

Monday, September 05, 2005


Typical US Media - Making Things Worse

It isn't enough that some of the people in New Orleans are acting like completing asses looting (and I mean steeling TVs not bread), shooting at people, etc. The US media is up to there normal, piss pore, reporting. Yesterday the AP reported that, "Army Corps of Engineers says police killed some of its workers as they crossed a bridge on the way to repair a canal." Of course this was immediately released on the news wire and, since it is such fantastic news, broadcast on CNN. Oh, but whoops, 30 minutes later, when the facts are checked, the AP releases, "Army Corps of Engineers says its contractors were not killed by police, but gunmen who fired at them were killed."

With racial tensions high - e.g. "the response would have been faster if those affected were white"...
mini rant: Come one people. Do we really believe that. The Mayor is black, the majority of voters are black, and, even if they weren't, these are people that needed help. Focus the blame on the Mayor who did a terrible job preparing. Or the governor for responding to slow to making it a state of disaster. Oh, better yet, focus the energy and helping the people that need help - not working them up over some BS. Positive energy, not negative, is needed here!

...this is just adding false fuel to the fire. When is the US media going to learn to report the news and not just sensationalism. Leave that for Jerry Springer :-). I suppose it is the news watchers that cause this. I guess they want to see and hear excitement instead of the facts. For example, Heraldo Rivera has to be the worst, must sensationalizing "reporter" on TV today - he is the Jerry Springer of "news". Also, on the CNN commercial, one of the clips they show is a reporter talking about how something the media is doing is a first...Since when did the news reporters become news...

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